Episode 47: A Deep Dive into Duty of Care
15 April 2023
Physiotherapists have fundamental obligations to provide safe, competent, effective care to their clients, and to provide for continuity of care whenever a therapeutic relationship has been established. The concept of a duty of care underlies long standing professional norms and expectations.
In this episode we discuss recurring challenges that physiotherapists may encounter related to the duty of care that they have towards their clients, including:
- The physiotherapist’s responsibility to maintain the therapeutic relationship and take responsibility for conflict resolution.
- Challenges related to discharging patients who still require treatment, but with whom the physiotherapist is unable to maintain a therapeutic relationship, and the physiotherapist’s responsibility to arrange for continuity of care.
- Expectations related to informed consent and shared decision making such as the requirements of avoiding providing inappropriate or ineffective treatment and respecting the patient’s right to make decisions about their own care. We also discuss how to navigate the challenging situations that can arise when a patient declines or refuses treatment and the physiotherapist thinks the patient’s choice of action is unsafe.
The Standards of Practice and Code of Ethical Conduct set out the expectations for physiotherapists related to duty of care. In this episode we elaborate on those expectations and discuss real world scenarios that physiotherapists may encounter from time to time.